BY CAPT. TONY DENSLOW
MEGA BITES CHARTERS
going to fish more in 2008. That’s one of my New Year’s
resolutions. But until the weather warms up to a sultry 60 degrees
or so I’ll be content to prepare for spring’s arrival.
It may appear that I am rushing the upcoming fishing season
a little but not really. You see, I like to make a lot of my
own gear and I’m sure some of you do too. That takes time
and effort. And every year that goes by I still have time but
the effort seems to become a little harder to sum up.
So, it’s at this time of year that I start tying the hundreds
of casting harnesses and snelled hooks I will need over the
course of 6-7 months of walleye, smallie and perch fishing.
I’ve started by placing my orders for hooks, line, beads,
blades and jig heads. I’ll receive those supplies in about
7-10 days. In the meantime, I’m using up what’s
left of my ‘07 supplies.
Making your own worm harnesses and jigs will save you lots of
money. Besides, it’s fun and helps to relax this anxious
Starting with this edition of Lake Erie News Reel, I’m
going to offer some of my tips and know-how when it comes to
Lake Erie fishing. I’d like to invite readers to share
some of their ideas, too. Together, we just might succeed in
catching more fish.
If you have a favorite worm harness design/color, write back
and let me know so I can share it with readers. Right now, News
Reel goes out to around 1,000 people twice a month. There’s
a lot of knowledge out there just waiting to be discovered.
I think pretty much, most fishermen know what a worm harness
is. They can be cast, trolled or used in combination with a
bottom bouncer. At right is an example.
This one is around 24 inches in length (I make them about 30
inches long for use with a bottom bouncer. It has one #4 baitholder
hook and a #4 salmon hook as a stinger. The stinger works great
when the walleye are biting short. At the other end is a two-inch
loop with a clear glass bead. All this on 14-lb test clear line.
And did I mention that a nightcrawler (I also use artificial
worms sometimes) is required on the hooks?
The loop is threaded through a barrel sinker and then attached
to a swivel on the end of your fishing line. The glass bead
keeps the sinker from sliding down onto the beads and blade.
It’s amazing that something so simple and so inexpensive
to make can be so deadly on walleyes. Economy is always welcome.
Of course, there are many variables to this rig. I always keep
3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and 1 oz. weights on hand to meet most situations.
Basically, the deeper the fish, the heavier the weight. I use
this formula: up to 15-feet of depth use 3/8’s; 15-25
feet use 1/2; 25-35 use 5/8, deeper use 3/4 or heavier. Keep
in mind that wind velocity and waves will come into play. On
windy days go one step heavier.
Color is often important on Lake Erie. I don’t like colors
not found in the lake naturally. I rarely use light blue or
light green. I favor orange and red beads (fish egg and crayfish
colors); silver and gold beads because they resemble minnow
coloration. As for blades, nothing beats hammered gold. Silver,
orange, copper, and chartreuse are more top choices. I stay
away from fancy. Walleyes probably do too.
It takes a while but anglers will soon find out what works for
them. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I often tie harnesses
as customers are fishing, especially when I see a successful
trend in color. It usually results in more fish in the cooler
at the end of the day. If you are unsure how to tie the traditional
knots used in making harnesses and snells, I suggest this website:
http://www.animatedknots.com/snell/index.php. Review the “snell”
knot. I use two versions of this knot in my rigs. Now go experiment
and learn how to make your own walleye weapons.